In a stunning report from Chinese news outlet The New Lens, Chinese 5G Not Living Up to the Hype author John Xie exposes the disappointing reality of 5G "Smart" City networks. In short, the technology is not living up to expectations; the costs are enormous, and the benefits are few. The problems with high density 5G networks include, in summary:
- Electricity costs were 10X higher than the profits in China in 2019
- Uses 3X as much energy as 4G
- Small coverage area = high density cell towers = close proximity to residents and office workers
- 73% of customers say 5G is not needed
- Widespread complaints about speed
- More interference
China officially launched its commercial 5G networks in September 2019 with the promise of delivering unprecedented digital speed to support new applications from autonomous driving to virtual surgery. More than a year later, the biggest 5G market is now facing widespread complaints about network speed and skyrocketing costs of deployments.
Because the 5G millimeter waves (mmWave) are shorter and do not travel through walls the cell towers need to be much closer together than 4G, approximately every 660 feet apart (and are already being placed 6-30 feet from homes in the USA). Because the penetration of the 5G mmWave signal is so weak, they will need to install stations inside office buildings, exposing workers to the 5G radiation at close proximity for more than 8 hours a day. For the 5G network to provide nationwide service, Chinese executives report they would need to install 10 million 5G cell towers. Only 410,000 were built in the first year. For example 10,000 were installed in Wuhan China alone. Over 1 million per year would need to be constructed in China, with enormous funding needed for labor, maintenance, and electricity.
If 5G is to reach the same level of coverage as 4G networks, the base station's annual electricity bill will approach US$29 billion, according to a report by the China Post and Telecommunications News, a media outlet directly under Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT). That amount represents about 10 times the 2019 profit of China Telecom, one of the three state-owned telecommunication companies in China.
Two months after the official rollout of 5G services, a top executive from a Chinese carrier admitted that operators had made little progress in reducing 5G power consumption and cost.
How could our government sanction such a poor return on investments? And such high use of electricity in a time of climate crisis, when all the world is calling for a reduction of power use?
Recently the Trump administration “secured” 5G from Chinese influence and included an additional $25 million, with a potential funding cap of $175 million for 5G rollout in cities and towns. Earlier in December of 2019, $9 billion was granted for agriculture area 5G installment. The 5G network is being promoted to massive Midwest mono crop GMO farmers who use highly sensitive digitally equipped tractors to measure the wind rate, temperatures, and humidity in order to spray toxic chemicals on the crops as directed. American authorities claim the (taxpayer funded) annual budget would need to be $438 million for the existing minimal program to function. But to what benefit?
Mounted on rooftops, utility poles, and streetlights throughout China since last year are hundreds of thousands of high-tech wireless towers for 5G, a powerful sign of the country's ambition to lead in new technology. Yet many of them are operational for only half the day.
Chinese officials are automatically turning off the 5G towers, due to lack of use, for the evening. Therefore, even if someone did want to use the service, they would be unable to. The lack of use of the 5G cell towers simply does not justify the enormous cost.
Another former official warned in a recent speech that China’s 5G push could become a failed investment.
"In fact, human societies do not have an urgent need for 5G," said Huawei's founder and CEO, Ren Zhengfei, "What people need now is broadband, and the main content of 5G is not broadband."
Broadband consists of cables which can include copper or fiber optics. Fiber optics delivers internet at the speed of light, harbors the connection in the ground away from wind and severe weather conditions, eliminates the risk of fire hazards, removes harm to human and wildlife from radiation, and reduces the risk of hackers and security issues. Clearly, 5G networks, with their need for high density installations, close proximity to neighborhoods, and indoor installation in office buildings at such a high cost and poor return, are not worth it.
Have ATT and Verizon decided to drop 5G mmWave "Smart" City technology in residential areas?
In July ATT announced their 5G Sub6 coverage and in October of 2020 Verizon announced their DSS 5G plan which supports Sub6 coverage. Both are simply upgraded 4G technology, not the mmWave technology (that many also previously called 5G) that requires small cell towers every 600 feet in our neighborhoods.
Verizon, however, asserted they would be continuing to install (5G) mmWave technology (and the close proximity cell towers) in New York, San Francisco, other cities, and in stadiums, parks, and landmarks.
Does this mean that their companies will no longer push these cell towers in our neighborhoods?
Citizens are requesting that ATT and Verizon abandon the expensive, inefficient, close proximity, high density, harmful 5G mmWave technology everywhere and redirect to safety-tested wireless and fiber optics instead. Residents who want better internet access may ask their local officials to direct any federal funding and local investments into fiber optics.
Click here to sign the petition to ATT and Verizon today.
Related GOOD NEWS:
On November 1, 2020 the New Hampshire legislature released its groundbreaking Final Report of the Commission to Study the Environmental and Health Effects of Evolving 5G Technology. They report great evidence of biological harm from today's wireless technology, including 5G, and recommend 15 actions to warn and protect the public. New Hampshire recommends our communities choose safe, fast, reliable, energy-efficient hard-wired technology to and throughout the premises instead of using wireless. Citizens are encouraged to bring this report forward to their own towns, schools, and legislators to ask for similar immediate protections.